Posts Tagged ‘shade’

For the love of trees

Twelve years ago Angus and I used to wander around the older parts of Canberra looking at the trees. We learnt to identify trees we liked and researched how fast they grew, how tall they grow and whether they were protected. We wanted fast growing, strong, deciduous trees for summer shade but that would still let in winter sun. We collected seeds from our favourites: oak, elm, ash, robinia, and started them in pots of the windowsill of our third storey apartment. When we bought this place in April 2007 we brought them with us and planted them out.

We watered them and waited.

And waited.

In the summer of 2011 when we got chickens they weren’t big enough to provide any shade yet.

We planted some “emergency” pittosporums and put out table tennis tables covered with tarps for shade in the interim.

And each year they grew a little.

Then it seemed like all of a sudden, around 2015, they were providing meaningful shade. Two of the pittosporums were now not necessary so we pulled them out.

And two summers ago we realised they were big enough to hang swings and hammocks from.

So here I am today. Chilling in a hammock that is hanging from two seeds that I planted in the ground 12 or so years back.

There’s still a few more trees I want to put in (more fruit trees especially) but present me is super happy with past me right now.

Its 37°C (98°F) today. But under the awesome power of natural evaporative cooling I am content.

They say the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is today.

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Bean curtain at work

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Today was nice and sunny: perfect opportunity to check out the shade provided by the curtain. I think it’s working but the weather has been weird and i can’t really tell. We’re between harvests at the mo but hope to have more beans soon. The third wave has just gone into the ground.

Shade

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So the genius who built our house ensured that the only time our lounge room got sun was summer afternoons. Not that we don’t love summer but that’s our least favourite bit of the house. So before we can bulldoze and rebuild, we’re ameliorating by planting trees and a bean curtain. Pics below. Next project is a climbing frame for the beans.

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